Defining “low testosterone” can be complicated, because assessing hormone levels should ideally be done in context and with the assistance of a trusted physician. Comparing your T levels to those of other men in your age cohort can be misleading—what’s normal for you may not reflect what’s normal for the average men. Older individuals might cite several health-related issues on their low testosterone, but they aren’t always referring to the actual condition. Having a decreased level of the hormone as you age is completely normal. However some individuals were born with lower levels.

Although the adult symptoms of low testosterone are similar regardless of the reason for their hormones levels, a male born with low testosterone exhibits different symptoms throughout their childhood and adolescence. For instance, these individuals might suffer from childhood hypogonadism, depression, decreased muscle mass, and other symptoms indicative of a low childhood testosterone levels.

Clinically, adults with low testosterone levels possess less than 300 ng/dl in their bloodstream. Though this clear line exists, it does not always imply the need for testosterone therapy or additional modes of treatment. Naturally, some men might not dip into this range at all into old age. Others barely cross the line, wondering if they need some form of aid to prevent health issues.

In reality, the average, healthy male does not need to worry about replacing hormones until they reach about age 50 to 60. During the late-adult years, declining testosterone levels have already resulted in some extent of hypogonadism (testicle shrinkage). Some males don’t realize that their testosterone levels have dropped by such an extent until they encounter other obvious symptoms, like erectile dysfunction, or connect the dots between smaller symptoms like fatigue and difficulty sleeping.

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